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A Pearl of Wisdom

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Posted: Thursday, February 2, 2012 10:44 pm

 

How do you get ideas for what to read next? I’m hoping “Novel Ideas” and “Book Buzz,” the Missourian’s Youth Literacy project, help readers of all ages with  their book choices.

Of great interest was a “How Readers Discover Books” pie graph in a recent issue of “Publisher’s Weekly.” The graph showed that 18.9% of readers get their ideas from book reviews, and 15.5% from library visits. Blogs help 12.1% of readers discover books, and bookstore staff recommendations scored big with a 30.8% slice of the pie.

Despite a notable chunk going to advertising, 24.4%, and search engines, 21.6%, the lion’s share of the book discovery pie goes to personal recommendations—49.2%. Nearly half of the readers polled depend on each other to pass along book ideas.

So what can we do to further increase this type of book dialogue? Nancy Pearl, the Yoda of veteran librarians, and a much respected book lover and reviewer, had an brainwave that jumped off the page at me, one we can all put to good use.

In her “Check it Out” column in “Pub Weekly,” she listed some wishes for the New Year. She suggested that librarians and bookstore folks add what they’re reading to the signature line of their e-mails. Great idea, don’t you think—can’t wait to see what all of you are reading.

Thanks, Nancy.

Chris Stuckenschneider, Book Editor, Currently reading, “Immortal Bird, A Family Memoir,” by Doron Weber, pubs in February. 

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